East Hampton power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z are all about using their fame and fortune to change lives. In the last year, they raised $6 million for cancer research and treatment, fought for people unjustly locked behind bars and helped raise money to end extreme poverty. Later this month, they’ll be honored by GLAAD with the Vanguard Award for their efforts to promote the acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award include East Enders Jennifer Lopez in 2014 and Drew Barrymore in 2010.
Beyoncé is recognized for including queer people and same-sex couples in her music videos, dedicating a Formation World Tour performance of “Halo” to those affected by the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, selecting transgender actress Laverne Cox as one of the faces of her Ivy Park athleisure clothing line and speaking out against laws that seek to legalize discrimination against the marginalized LGBTQ community.
Jay-Z received a GLAAD Special Recognition Award last year for his song “Smile” and its music video, which he wrote to serve as the platform for his mother, Gloria Carter, to come out as a lesbian. He is also recognized for supporting marriage equality and showcasing LGBTQ leader Janet Mock and a quote by the late gay writer James Baldwin in the video for “Family Feud.”
“Beyoncé and Jay-Z are global icons and passionate defenders of human rights and acceptance for all people,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “When Beyoncé and Jay-Z speak, the world becomes inspired, and when it comes to LGBTQ people, their voices of acceptance have been heard loud and clear. We could not be prouder to stand with them to send a message of love during the biggest LGBTQ event in the world and to honor their work to bend the arc of justice forward for LGBTQ people, people of color and marginalized communities everywhere.”
The 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards will honor media and celebrities for fair, accurate and inclusive representation of gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their issues. Events will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28 and in New York City on Saturday, May 4. Bridgehamptonite Madonna will be honored with the Advocate for Change Award at the NYC ceremony.